The Irish Countrywomen’s Association

1910 – 2010: A Centenary Celebration

Basket making class c1970

This exhibition celebrates 100 years of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, one of the oldest such organisations in the world, and examines the impact it has had on Irish society and on the lives of Irish women in particular. Founded in 1910 as the Society of United Irishwomen, it began as a co-operative network of support for women in rural Ireland, with the aim of helping women to help themselves. Over the years the ICA has actively lobbied for and influenced official government policy in a number of key areas, such as health, education, and the provision of basic utilities. The organisation worked closely with the ESB during the rollout of its rural electrification scheme in the 1950s and 60s, collaborating with the state electricity company to design the “model farm kitchen”, complete with modern electrical appliances.

The development of skills has always been an important aspect of the work of the ICA and this exhibition showcases a range of traditional and contemporary crafts made and mounted by guild members.

Location: First Floor, West Block, Collins Barracks

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